Big and Brave

Lightning is both necessary and sufficient for...

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Spring brings some pretty nasty storms to North Texas.  There is often hail, thunderstorms, lightning, and even tornados.

Just this week we had a pretty big storm.  I noticed the awesome clouds first — beautiful yet looming and giving a hint of what was to come.  Then came the lightning.  There was lots of it — lots of cloud to ground strikes.  It was an impressive light show.  A few hours later came the rain.  The lightning stuck around with the rain so in the middle of the night, the room was lit up with the lightning, and the rain pelted the windows.  This storm was different than most storms in that the thunder was really quiet.  Even though the lightning was powerful and bright and often, the thunder remained a low rolling sound — never those loud booms that usually accompany such lightning.

Usually in such a storm, my bed — which I feel has a maximum capacity of 2 — fills up to 4 as the storm escalates.  Both boys usually find their way to my bed, where they stay the rest of the night.

Any time I go check on Chloe during a storm, she is either sound asleep or is enjoying the sounds and the lights; she has never seemed frightened so I let her stay in her bed where I know she’ll sleep better.

Even though I mention things like my bed has a maximum capacity of 2, the truth is I love it when my kids come get in bed with me.  I’m super glad it doesn’t happen all the time, but I do enjoy the times they take refuge safely between Mom and Dad.  I have often lamented that one of these days, they’ll stop coming to my room during a storm, and they’ll stop crawling in bed with me after a bad dream.  I am certainly enjoying it while it lasts.

Well, during this week’s storm, Zippy showed up in my room with Brown Bear and snuggled up beside me.  But Elliot never came.  It is not unusual for Elliot to sleep through a storm and be completely clueless about the wet ground the next day.  His room seems somehow protected from the noise of it all.  So I wasn’t totally surprised — especially since the thunder was so quiet this time.

But the next morning while we were getting ready for school, Elliot asked if we had woken up during the storm.  Zippy and I both nodded that yes, we had.

Then, incredulous, Zippy asked the question that I was wondering, too.  “Why didn’t you come in there with us?!”

Elliot just shrugged his shoulders.  “I don’t know.”

And for the umpteenth time lately I stopped breathing for just a moment as the truth settled in.  What I knew would happen eventually had already begun — even though Elliot woke up during this bad storm, he didn’t come to my room.  He didn’t need to come to my room.  He was able to be big and brave and stay in his room by himself.

It’s a good thing, of course.  Something that is supposed to happen.  It’s a good sign of his growing up and cutting some strings.  Yes, it’s a good thing.

But it also made me sad.  Those days of cuddling up next to Mom really are limited.  And I’m actually hoping they’re not totally over.

The bummer is that I have a terrible memory, and I’m afraid I won’t remember the feeling of all of us being squished in my bed together while the hail pounds and the thunder claps.

Maybe a great big scary storm will come and scare the dickens out of Elliot and he’ll come running in to be close to me.

Maybe.  But maybe not.

Our kids are growing up.  Time is flying by.  And the moments we have now will not last forever.  Let’s treasure them while they’re ours!


10 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Paul Mastin on April 13, 2011 at 9:22 AM

    Sweet post. But you are really fibbing–I think that you think the ideal capacity of the bed is 1!


    • LOL! Oh, Paul. When we got married 18 years ago, I adjusted quickly to having to share my king size bed with you. I think it’s big enough for the 2 of us! 😉 Love you!


  2. Posted by Sara Watson on April 13, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    Oh, that made my heart hurt a little! I always said I wanted to be a mom that rejoices with my children as they get older but it is harder than I ever imagined it would be!


  3. Posted by Joy Burrow on April 13, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    This really tugged at my heartstrings today! What a great reminder to cherish every moment with our precious kids. Love, love , love reading your blog entries!! Thanks for always blessing me!


  4. Posted by Tammie on April 14, 2011 at 7:09 AM

    So sweet Kelly! Yes, it means you’re doing a good job, but at the same time you do want to hold on a little longer. There is a book/poem by Karen Kingsbury titled “Let Me Hold You Longer”. It’s about how we remember the “firsts” (first time crawling, first time to pick a flower and bring to mom, etc.), but how we never know when the “lasts” are. It’s wonderful and a little heartbreaking at the same time. Now that I think about it, maybe you shouldn’t read it right now (JK)!


    • Oh, thanks, Tammie, for directing me to this poem. Bittersweet, for sure!
      Here is the poem “Let Me Hold You Longer” by Karen Kingsbury:

      So, here is the poem from the book Let Me Hold You Longer by Karen Kingsbury.
      Long ago you came to me,
      a miracle of firsts,
      First smiles and teeth and baby steps,
      a sunbeam on the burst.

      But one day you will move away
      and leave to me your past
      And I will be left thinking of
      a lifetime of your lasts…

      The last time that I held a bottle
      to your baby lips
      The last time that I lifted you
      and held you on my hip.

      The last night when you woke up crying,
      needing to be walked,
      When last you crawled up with your blanket,
      wanting to be rocked.

      The last time when you ran to me,
      still small enough to hold.
      The last time that you said you’d marry
      me when you grew old.

      Precious, simple moments and
      bright flashes from your past-
      Would I have held on longer if
      I’d known they were your last?

      Our last adventure to the park,
      your final midday nap,
      The last time when you wore your favorite
      faded baseball cap.

      Your last few hours of kindergarten,
      those last few days of first grade,
      Your last at bat in Little League,
      last colored picture made.

      I never said good-bye to all
      your yesterdays long passed.
      So what about tomorrow-
      will I recognize your lasts?

      The last time that you catch a frog
      in that old backyard pond.
      The last time that you run barefoot
      across our fresh-cut lawn.

      Silly, scattered images
      will represent your past.
      I keep on taking pictures,
      never quite sure of your lasts…

      The last time that I comb your hair
      or stop a pillow fight.
      The last time that I pray with you
      and tuck you in at night.

      The last time when we cuddle
      with a book, just me and you
      The last time you jump in our bed
      and sleep between us two.

      The last piano lesson,
      last vacation to the lake.
      Your last few weeks of middle school,
      last soccer goal you make.

      I look ahead and dream of days
      that haven’t come to pass.
      But as I do, I sometimes miss
      today’s sweet, precious lasts…

      The last time that I help you with
      a math or spelling test.
      The last time when I shout that yes,
      your room is still a mess.

      The last time that you need me for
      a ride from here to there.
      The last time that you spend the night
      with your old tattered bear.

      My life keeps moving faster,
      stealing precious days that pass,
      I want to hold on longer-
      want to recognize your lasts…

      The last time that you need my help
      with details of a dance.
      The last time that you ask me for
      advice about romance.

      The last time that you talk to me
      about your hopes and dreams.
      The last time that you wear a jersey
      for your high school team.

      I’ve watched you grow and barely noticed
      seasons as they pass.
      If I could freeze the hands of time,
      I’d hold on to your lasts.

      For come some bright fall morning,
      you’ll be going far away.
      College life will beckon
      in a brilliant sort of way.

      One last hug, one last good-bye,
      one quick and hurried kiss.
      One last time to understand
      just how much you’ll be missed.

      I’ll watch you leave and think how fast
      our time together passed.
      Let me hold on longer, God,
      to every precious last.


  5. After reading this post, my mom wrote and told me a story of when I was a little girl (Wow! That must’ve been a long time ago!) and would crawl into bed with her. Mom would teasingly (surely teasingly . . . :)) tell me to get my head off of her pillow. And then she imitates my little childish pronunciation of the sentence: “Wou get WOUR HAID off MY piddo!” I guarantee you I haven’t been that cute in a LONG time!! These days are numbered, friends! But as Mom pointed out, we WILL remember! 🙂


    • Posted by Paul Mastin on April 14, 2011 at 8:53 AM

      You do take after your Mom. It’s not so cute now when you tell me to get my head off your pillow! (OK, maybe it’s a little cute, but not that cute!)


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